Published On: Fri, Jun 14th, 2019

China claims ship ‘besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino boats’

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‘The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats,’ claims the Chinese embassy

Published 9:43 PM, June 14, 2019

Updated 9:55 PM, June 14, 2019

FILIPINO FISHERMEN. The fishermen and crew of FB Gim-ver, the fishing boat sunk by a Chinese vessel near Recto Bank on June 9, 2019, get off the BRP Ramon Alcaraz after they were turned over to Mindoro local officials by the Philippine Navy on June 14, 2019. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

FILIPINO FISHERMEN. The fishermen and crew of FB Gim-ver, the fishing boat sunk by a Chinese vessel near Recto Bank on June 9, 2019, get off the BRP Ramon Alcaraz after they were turned over to Mindoro local officials by the Philippine Navy on June 14, 2019. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – While admitting one of their own was involved, China denied a Chinese ship sank a Filipino boat in a “hit-and-run” incident in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

In a statement Friday evening, June 14, the Chinese embassy claimed the Chinese vessel was in fact “besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats,” preventing it from rescuing the Filipino fishermen from their sunken boat.

China said the Chinese fishing boat Yuemaobinyu 42212 “engaged in a light purse seine operation” and “was berthed” in the vicinity of Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea “at 2400 hours on June 9, 2019.”

Referring to the Chinese vessel, the embassy said: “It was suddenly besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats. During evacuation, 42212 failed to shun a Filipino fishing boat, and its steel cable on the lighting grid of larboard bumped into the Filipino lighthouse. The Filipino fishing boat titled and its stern foundered.”

“The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats. Therefore, having confirmed the fishermen from the Filipino boat were rescued on board of other Filipino fishing boats, 42212 sailed away from the scene,” the embassy added.

“The above shows that there is no such thing as ‘hit and run,'” it said.

China then vowed “to properly handle this issue with the Philippines in a serious and responsible manner,” as it “attaches great importance to China-Philippines friendship and safety of life at sea.”

“The two sides are maintaining close communication through diplomatic channels,” the Chinese embassy said.

More to follow. – Rappler.com

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